Lovin' time at Coon Hollow Farm

Lovin' time at Coon Hollow Farm
Our Olde English "Babydoll" Sheep and their lambs

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Sugaring in New England

Just yesterday, Tim was collecting sap. The trees were running with temperatures in the high 50's! The buckets were filled to the gills and pouring over. The sap was clear and a touch sweet.

Each bucket was filling fast after Tim emptied it! He collected close to 20 gallons in just one day...

and then today, a blizzard that brought everything to a screeching halt! That's is sugaring in New England and the weather here too! If you don't like it, it changes to something you will like!!!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Look what's happening in the sugar bush!

It's that wonderful time of year again when the sap begins to flow! Did you know that it takes between 30 to 40 gallons of sap to render down to syrup?! That's a lot of sap but our trees never fail. Did you also know that a large cluster of Sugar Maple trees is called a Sugar Bush?

Some of the trees are tapped. Tim has only just begun!

Our season is underway and we look forward to the tasty sap that makes Maple Syrup!

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Lip Balms are for more than just lips!

It is winter here in Connecticut and with Winter comes dried lips. However, did you know that you can make your own lip Balms and use them on more than just lips?!!!
I have been known to take the "Macgyver" approach when it comes to using them for other things. I use them on sore cuticles, cracks in dry skin and have been known to use them on a stubborn zipper!
Ours are made from our very own beeswax, coconut oil, shea butter, a splash of almond oil and for these shown I added clove oil. They are amazing and stay on your lips for hours!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Finally!!!!

Finally, an egg!!! The chickens have been holding out on eggs this winter! I went up this morning and finally found an egg in one
 Of the egg boxes!!! Now it is winter, however it has been an unusually warm winter, mild temps along with lots of rain. We do think we may have an egg eater so an investigation is underway to determine that!!! The defender, if caught may be tried and convicted under extreme chicken law!!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The signs were there...

The results of the harvested honey really spoke volumes to what stress the honeybees were under late last summer. The drought was hard on them and by looking at the honey you could tell. Late summer honey should be darker, not as light. We could not feed them for fear of attracting the bear even worse. This honey has been distrusted to some of our friends and family. It tastes great but is just not what I would feel right about selling.

Friday, January 6, 2017

New Year, new ventures....

As we begin the New Year, I have some time during the winter to sit by the woods stove and get some projects done. I so love this time of year. So much peace as I sit here and watch the morning snow.
My first project of the year is making a colonial pocket. As some may know I love the colonial era, spend time as a reenactor and work as a docent in a colonial home teaching children about that time when things were just a little simpler, but everything they did was about survival. Above is some beautiful over dyed linen I picked up at a local textile sale. 

My husband gave me this kit last year. Basically woman wore a pocket that they would tie to their wastes. A slit would be in their pedicoats so they could access their pocket. 
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I cut out a new pocket from the sample we got in the kit, front and back leaving about 1/2 inch for a seam allowance.

Women in that time would embroider beautiful flowers and designs on their pockets. The kit came with these wonderful transfers. I choose a wheat design as my center but will add lots of free formed designs as well. 

It's somewhat hard to see the outline on the brown linen but I got this. I haven't embroidered in years so I am looking forward to the challenge!
Happy New Year from Coon Hollow Farm! Challenge yourself this year to try something different!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Biding ado to 2016

2016 brought us the most amazing miracle, our 1st grand child, Scarlets Willow Sotir. Her birth was very eventful with an emergency contact section which scared us to death but they were both okay and that was what mattered.

She is an amazing child and fills our hearts with joy

The gang stayed the same, all are healthy and happy

I was able to share Scarlett with special people in my life

Our dear friend Kenny had a 4 organ transplant but is doing great wonderful now  
Our chickens over preformed keeping the farm going good as we focused much of our time on family


We added some new feathered friends 


Our bees started out fast and furious but that quickly turned to us having our worse season yet between fighting mold, varroe, hive beetles and the final straw was being wiped out by a bear for the first time in 8 years. This year was not a Charm! We will be back to it next year with a bear fence to start!

I got back to my soap making and teaching it

Tim and I took time out for family

Me and my daughter Brynn pumpkin picking before her and her brothers surprise party!



I channeled my colonial woman more often and explored my skills I  hearth cooking
(Photo credit: John Poole)

One of my goals this year was learning get the Great Wheel. Thanks to a wonderful woman I met named Fiona, I am on my way to learning It! However a few more lessons would be great!

Autumn the Wonder Dog continued to work hard at protecting the farm. We found out she can tree a bear in 5 seconds, run off a hawk and chase a fox down to retrieve a Chicken! We need to clone this girl!

We learned what a bear can do...


We added this sweet little blue eyed English Angora buck named "Frankie"

I found so much peace right here in  the woods. My job has me here a lot teaching kids about nature, kindness and how important the environment is. With the election it is now more important than ever to teach them, they are our future!!! 

      As we say farewell to 2016, we look forward to the new year as 2017 will have our family growing yet again with the birth of my nieces baby, a boy that I can't wait to spoil! Happy New Year to Everyone! Next year will be filled with new items, more yarns and new babies of all kinds so stay tuned!

Friday, December 30, 2016

All was not lost!

All was not lost to that pesky bear. As I was realizing we were going to loose to the bear, I pulled as many frames of honey as I could into a decaping tank, set it aside in the pantry and somewhat had forgotten about them until today.

This frame was taken after the bear had made the hive abscond. Sadly they had lots of capped honey as well as pollen stores as seen here in the picture above.


Thursday, December 29, 2016

Curing soap with time


After many months of curing, 4 batches are ready to go! 8 pounds times 4 puts it in the park at around 32 pounds minus 2 pounds for evaporation so 30 pounds all together.
Four different scents which makes the whole house smell amazing!


Onto tagging and packaging.
As I posted this in realized how absent I have been on this blog. The holidays took hold this year and I am quite glad they are behind us now. They were wonderful as we spent them with our new granddaughter! Looking forward to the coming year and all it will have to offer!



Sunday, November 13, 2016

Oh the pain of molting

Oh the pain, the nakedness of molting. My yard is full of half naked chickens in some extreme molt. Egg laying is down as they use their energy to bring in those new feathers. This poor girl has but one tail feather left!

This poor girl looks better in the picture than she really is, she has but only outer feathers with her new feathers erupting...


and this girl looks like she borrowed a small feather to look like a tail feather!

Big Bertha here is not looking so big these days! Her tail feathers are gone and she is but a fraction of herself.

A rooster without tail feathers is just terrible. I am finding my roosters not as manly as usual lately!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

New England Fiber Festival 2016

This weekend was the New England Fiber Festival and we had an amazing time! I share my booth each year with my wonderful friend Naomi Allen. We laughed and had such a good time meeting new people, chatting with fellow fiber artists and spending time with each other.

Some of my booth area, set up and ready to go. By the end of the show many of these shelves were near empty.

My beautiful vintage body form with a hand knitted mohair scarf.

"Frankie" our new English Angora buck got a lot of attention this weekend. I think he was the most photographed animal at the Festival. He loved every minute of it.


This was part of Naomi's booth. She has some amazing wool for rug hooking. Her pieces are amazing! She was the only one there that does it like she does. Her booth was always busy with wonderful people!


My pillows were fondled often!

This was our neighbor's Wendsleydale ram. A woman was talking to him and he was quite attentive. He even tried to steal my banana! I miss my sheep and he was a pleasure having him next to us.

I didn't get a chance to see much this year, but I did happen to pass this woman doing some old world weaving.

She was using these amazing counter balances which were stone. so as I reflect on this year, how hard I worked towards this show, I must thank everyone who bought from me this year, who I talked to and who I may have inspired. I sure do get inspired by the many kind people I meet at this show!